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Auto blogWed, 13 Nov 2013 15:00:00 EST
What's the future look like for Tesla after it launches the Model X CUV and possibly a smaller, sub-Model S sedan? Would you believe a pickup truck? Yes, Tesla could be looking to use its EV know-how to take the fight to Ford and the F-150, based on comments made by company founder Elon Musk.
"If you're trying to replace the most gasoline miles driven, you have to look at what people are buying," Musk said during an impromptu Q&A session following a speech at Business Insider's Ignition conference. "[The F-150 is] the best selling car in America. If people are voting that's their car, then that's the car we have to deliver."
And while the idea of electric pickup may sound kind of absurd to some, Musk makes a very valid point - if Tesla's goal is to replace gas miles with electrical miles, it simply can't afford to ignore pickups.
The current Ford Explorer is sold in more than 64 countries, and this three-row vehicle continues to grow in popularity worldwide. To keep up with demand, Ford began producing the Explorer at Ford Sollers Elabuga Assembly Plant in Tatarstan, Russia, a joint venture facility. This partnership will build Russian-market Explorers only, and production of export vehicles not destined for Russian buyers will continue to be built at Ford's assembly plant in Chicago.
Before this plant went online, Ford would ship Explorers to Russia (and other regions around the world) as partially assembled knock-down units where final assembly would eventually take place. While there is no indication as to how many Explorers Ford Sollers will build for Russia, Ford did add that exports of the SUV were up 65 percent last year (from 2011) accounting for more than 24,000 units.
Scroll down for a press release about the Russian Explorer as well as a video (bad music and all) showing the SUV being produced in Tatarstan.
Rad Rides by Troy has unleashed upon the SEMA crowds this custom 1969 Ford Torino Talladega GT Special, and it's a beauty. The car calls to mind the classic Holman Moody stock cars that circled NASCAR tracks in the late 1960's, driven by the likes of Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney and David Pearson, who won the Grand National title in both 1968 and '69 in a Ford Torino.
Even though it has plenty of stock-car influence, there's nothing retro about the car's design or powertrain, other than the fact that the engine is based on a Ford Boss 429 block. Fuel injection, aftermarket aluminum heads and a high-tech custom computer system combine to send 750 reliable ponies to the rear wheels through a Tremec five-speed manual transmission. Brakes measure 14-inches all around, with six-piston Wilwood calipers up front and four-piston units out back.
There's custom bodywork abound, painted in a two-tone Tennessee Whiskey Gold and Daytona Sand finish. Check out all the amazing details in the image gallery below, and scroll down to read all about it in designer Troy Trepanier's own words.